Patterico's Pontifications


…and then there were four – at the Republican debate

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:42 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Happening now.


We’ve reached the shouting stage of the debate. It started with Christie trying to defend Haley against Ramaswamy – “This is a smart, accomplished woman and you should stop insulting her” – and descended into a shout-off between the two men.

Ramaswamy punched back with a reference to Bridgegate and some casual fat shaming. He then seemed to compare Nikki Haley to Dick Cheney. “You can put lipstick on a Dick Cheney – it is still a fascist neocon,” he said.

Of course it wouldn’t be a true Republican event without some MAGA crazy:


Constitutional Vanguard: The Branch Davidian Debate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:45 pm

What if there had been a debate for leadership of the Branch Davidians? I think it might have gone a little something like this.

Subscribe here.

P.S. This is a short one. The endless tomes will resume soon.

P.P.S. I know, I know: don’t quit my day job.

When “Context” Becomes an Excuse

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:45 pm

[guest post by Dana]

It’s insightful to hear from three university presidents who faced hard questioning from Rep. Elise Stefanik, while testifying on Capitol Hill before the House Education committee:

Clearly, these are disturbing, evasive, and frustrating responses. Jonathan Haidt is spot-on in his observations:

“What offends me is that since 2015, universities have been so quick to punish “microaggressions,” including statements intended to be kind, if even one person from a favored group took offense. The presidents are now saying: “Jews are not a favored group, so offending or threatening Jews is not so bad. For Jews, it all depends on context.” We might call this double standard “institutional anti-semitsim.”

I also think it’s important to hear from Jewish college students themselves about what they face on a daily basis post-Oct. 7. The first student attends New York University, the second student attends the University of Pennsylvania:

And in this third video, a student from MIT speaks about the immense challenges she and other Jewish students now face on their campus:

This post-Oct. 7 world has become increasingly dangerous for Jewish individuals. Whether in Europe or the United States, anti-Semitism is living and breathing in the streets, and communities and institutions, without shame or fear of reprisal. It is bold, intimidating, and its ugly twisted face is on its way to blending in with the crowds. Crowds that either find the message agreeable or look the other way in avoidance and in an effort to remain safe. I have always puzzled over how everyday citizens could have remained silent in the spreading fires of Jew-hatred before WWII broke out. But now seeing its slow rise to a ‘front and center’ position in American society in 2023, I get it. From the Holocaust Encyclopedia:

Ordinary people behaved in a variety of ways during the Holocaust. Motives ranged from pressures to conform and defer to authorities, to opportunism and greed, to hatred. In many places, the persecution of Jews occurred against a backdrop of centuries of antisemitism. In Germany, many individuals who were not zealous Nazis nonetheless participated in varying degrees in the persecution and murder of Jews and other victims. Following German occupation, countless people in other countries also cooperated in the persecution of Jews.

Everywhere, there were witnesses on the sidelines who cheered on the active participants in persecution and violence.

Most, however, remained silent.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Elise Stefanik is not that bright and is bad at questioning. If a university president can’t answer “yes” to the question “does a call for genocide of Jewish people violate your university’s code of conduct?” then the next questions would include things like this:

Does a call for genocide of Palestinians violate your university’s code of conduct?

Does a call for genocide of black people violate your university’s code of conduct?

What context would bring within your code of conduct a call for genocide of black people?

If students formed a KKK club and called for the genocide of black people would that violate your code of conduct?


Just dopily getting OUTRAGED is not effective.

That said, the initial question was a good one, and these people are now on their heels.


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